Lycopus virginicus

Bugleweed - Lycopus virginicus (in the Lamiaceae or Mint family)

Part used: Aerial parts.

Taste/smell: Bitter.

Tendencies: Cooling, drying.

Dosage: Infusion: 1 teaspoon per cup of water; or 1:4 dry liquid extract: 10-20 drops 1-3 times per day in a little water.

Use: (a) Astringent, (b) Mild gastric tonic, (c) Sedative.

As a tonifying astringent, Bugleweed affects the mucous membranes with specific pulmonary and cardiac influence and is beneficial with tachycardia and arrhythmias in conjunction with insomnia. It also balances the autonomic nervous system and equalizes circulation.

It blocks the conversion of thyroxin to T3 in the liver. It also interferes with iodine metabolism in the thyroid by inhibiting thyroid stimulating hormone. Bugleweed is used for hyperthyroid conditions and symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism.

Contraindications: It is contraindicated in nontoxic goiter or hypothyroidism and may interact with thyroid hormones. Bugleweed is contraindicated in pregnancy due to the antithyrotropic effect and antigondatropic activity shown in research with rats. Due to the antiprolactin activity, it is also contraindicated for nursing mothers.

Copyright 1999 by Sharol Tilgner, N.D. (ISBN 1-881517-02-0) - all rights reserved.